By Gabe Licht
DELANO, MN Local “Family Feud” fans may see some faces they recognize on the 6 p.m. show Monday, Feb. 16.
That’s when the Rieckenberg family will begin their string of four times on the show.
Their appearance has been a long time in the making.
Fans from the beginning
“We’ve watched ‘Family Feud’ since Richard Dawson was the host,” Amy (Rieckenberg) Greenfield said of herself and siblings Rob, Cara, and Stacey Ryan. “Growing up, the four of us kids would be watching it and shouting out the answers saying, ‘I can’t believe they got it wrong.’”
Amy said it’s ironic that she has always wanted to be on the show because she considers herself a shy person.
Her dad, Bob Rieckenberg, confirmed, “This has been on her bucket list since she’s been old enough to watch TV.”
Auditions in Minneapolis
Amy learned of an opportunity to accomplish her bucket list item while watching the show with her husband and two sons. Auditions were coming to Minneapolis. She asked her siblings and parents if they would be interested in trying out.
“I didn’t realize it was still on TV,” Bob admitted.
Nonetheless, he joined his wife and children at the Minneapolis Convention Center for an audition.
“I figured there’d be a few people,” Bob said. “There were four or five rooms with 400 to 500 people in each room.”
For the audition, they pretended to be on the show and must have made a good first impression as the first family to audition.
“After we got done, they gave us a form and said, ‘Take this to the table outside,’” Amy said. “I gave this form to them not knowing anything and they said, ‘They really liked you. Go to this room now.”
In that room, the Rieckenbergs were asked a variety of questions on camera.
“We had to tell a bit about ourselves and what we’d do with the money if we won really big,” Amy said.
Producers must have liked their answer to that question. Amy said the money would allow Rob, an amputee, to swim again with the help of an aquatic leg.
“I kind of got choked up when they asked what we would do with the money,” Amy said.
At the end of that process, the Rieckenbergs learned they would know within three weeks whether or not they would be going to Atlanta for the show.
“Halfway through the third week, I went to the mailbox and started screaming,” Amy said. “My oldest son started screaming and jumping up and down saying, ‘You’re going to be on TV!’”
Welcome to Atlanta
Bob, Rob, Amy, Cara and Stacey flew to Atlanta July 13 and found themselves on the “Family Feud” stage for another audition Monday morning. Eleven teams auditioned that morning and two were sent home. The Rieckenbergs got to know a family from North Carolina and another from Chicago while they waited. At the end of that day, in which five episodes were filmed, two more families were cut.
Amy and her family lived to laugh another day and Tuesday turned out to be full of laughs.
They were chosen for the second show filmed that day.
“It was a blast,” Amy said. “I couldn’t have had more fun with my family. We laughed and laughed.”
Bob called the time on the show a great bonding experience.
“If nothing else, we can look at each other, make a comment, and laugh, and no one else will know what we’re laughing about,” Bob said.
Amy said one part of the show was especially hilarious.
“My dad will live on in infamy for one funny reel; let’s put it that way,” Amy said. “My poor dad. You’re supposed to say, ‘Good answer.’ I know the four of us thought, ‘What the?’ (Host) Steve Harvey went off for about 10 minutes about my dad’s answer.”
“I can’t really get into that,” Bob said with a laugh. “It’s one of those instances where somebody asks a question and your mind goes totally blank. Amy answered the first question and said we’d play. Later, she said, ‘Dad, I knew you had absolutely nothing by looking at your face.’”
Even though he was the brunt of some of Harvey’s jokes, Bob considers himself a fan.
“I was very impressed with the guy,” Bob said. “I knew his history as a comedian, but that’s about it. Between shows, he came out and talked to us and the audience.”
Though the Rieckenbergs can’t talk about what they’ve won Amy’s husband doesn’t even know it is clear they didn’t come home with nothing, having been able to compete on four episodes of the show.
“We won’t get our winnings until 90 days after the show airs,” Amy said.
Regardless of that amount, the Rieckenbergs believe the real prize was the memories they created together.
“I’m truly grateful I was able to do it with my siblings and dad,” Amy said. “I wish my mom could’ve been there, but it definitely was all I hoped it could be.”